Thunderstorm Safety

Be Safe in Lightning and Thunderstorms!

SAFETY RULES: (Adapted from NOAA)

  • Keep an eye on the sky and listen for the sound of thunder. Look for darkening skies, flashes of lightning, or increasing wind and listen for thunder.
  • If you see or hear a thunderstorm coming or your hair stands on end, go inside immediately! Get inside a completely enclosed building, or if no enclosed building is convenient, get inside a hard-topped all-metal vehicle.
  • If You Can Hear It, Clear It; If You Can See It, Flee It: To determine the distance of lightening, count the seconds between the flash and the thunder and divide by 5. Lightning can strike 5-10 miles ahead of the storm, so if the lightening flash and thunder is 30 seconds or less, it means the lightening is about 5 miles away. Be sure to to seek shelter! 


  • Be the lowest point. Lightning hits the tallest object.
  • If you can't get to a shelter, stay away from trees. If there is no shelter, crouch in the open, keeping twice as far away from a tree as it is tall.
  • Avoid metal! Avoid leaning against metal vehicles. Get off bicycles and motorcycles. Don't hold on to metal items such as fishing rods, tennis rackets, or tools. Large metal objects can conduct lightning. Small metal objects can cause burns.
  • Get out of the water. It's a great conducter of electricity. Stay out of the water, off the beach and out of small boats or canoes. Lightning can strike the water and travel some distance beneath and away from its point of contact.
  • Move away from a group of people. Stay several yards away from other people. Don't share a bleacher bench or huddle in a group.
  • Check the forecast and watch the weather: Be aware of developing storms and changing weather. You can watch your local news and check for updates online


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